Ben Blanchard and Michael Martina
February 16, 2012
BEIJING (Reuters) – China disapproves of armed intervention or regime change in Syria, a minister said on Thursday before leaving on the first official trip to Syria since Beijing blocked a U.N. resolution calling for President Bashar al-Assad to step down.
The West and many in the Arab world scolded China for its veto after months of bloodshed between Syrian forces and protesters demanding reform. Beijing said it was simply trying to prevent more violence and was acting in accordance with the U.N. charter.
… “(China) does not approve of the use of force to interfere in Syria or the forceful pushing of a so-called regime change,” the Foreign Ministry cited Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun as saying on its website (www.fmprc.gov.cn).
Zhai, who will travel to Syria on Friday and Saturday, said China believed that “sanctions or the threat of sanctions are not conducive to the appropriate resolution of this issue”.